Girls on the Run 5K & Celebration Expo

Girls on the Run 5K and Celebration Expo will be held on Sunday, May 18 at Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium on Hewitt Rd. The Celebration Expo will open at 7a with the 5K starting at 9a.

Over 1700 girls starting in 3rd grade have participated at over 80 different schools in our area have been training for the 5K through a Girls on the Run program. My daughter is not in 2nd grade, but many of her 3rd grade friends are participating in Girls on the Run and we have seen them practicing when we leave school.

My daughter and I ran the Girls on the Run Super Hero 5K in November and really enjoyed our race. I especially recommend the race as an introduction to the program for girls who might be interested in participating in the program in future years.

Registration for the Girls on the Run 5K is available online through Wednesday, May 14 for $25/participant. Registration on Race Day or at Packet Pickup is $30.

Girls on the Run 5k: Run, walk or skip and support girls in your community
May 18 at Eastern Michigan University

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – In one of the program’s largest events to date, Girls on the Run (GOTR) of Southeastern Michigan will host its annual Girls on the Run 5k, presented by Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, May 18, 2014 at Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium. The Celebration Expo opens at 7:00am and the 5k starts at 9:00am.


The event is the culmination of GOTR of Southeastern Michigan’s 10-week season. 1,710 girls from 80 different schools will join family, friends, community members and volunteers during a 3.1-mile run/walk to celebrate their “girl power.”

Since its inaugural season in 2002, the Southeastern Michigan GOTR council has grown from serving 92 girls to over 2,000 each school year. It currently serves Washtenaw, Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe and Livingston counties. The ten-week program for girls in 3rd – 8th grade combines training for a 5k with a curriculum promoting competence, confidence, connection, character, caring and contribution.

In Washtenaw County, there are GOTR programs at 37 different schools, including Childs Elementary in Ypsilanti, Angell Elementary in Ann Arbor, Wylie Elementary in Dexter, and Harvest Elementary in Saline.

Twice-weekly lessons and interactive activities are led by trained volunteer coaches who create a positive and safe environment for girls to learn about themselves, connect with others and contribute to the community.

“As a girl and even now as a young woman, I know that it’s easy to feel like the whole world is against you,” says Meaghan Shiffler, a coach at Angell Elementary in Ann Arbor and a student at the University of Michigan. “I’m hoping to help girls see that not only are the capable of facing the hardest times with their own strength, but also that they have a community surrounding them that will always support them.”

GOTR addresses both the physical and emotional needs of girls at a critical
developmental juncture to prepare them for adolescence and to help prevent risky
behaviors. Additionally, academic evaluations led by GOTR International found that the program increases self-esteem and body size satisfaction among participants.

Every penny from community participants’ registration for the GOTR 5k event benefits the Southeastern Michigan GOTR council’s scholarship program. Almost 90-percent of the program’s sites are hosted at Title One schools that serve under-resourced, low-income communities and over 37-percent of the girls in the program require financial assistance in order to participate. This year, that translated into more than 600 girls receiving scholarships that covered their registration fees.

Executive Director Danielle Plunkett said it is because of the generosity of donors, volunteers and sponsors that the GOTR program and its signature 5k event are realities each year. The council’s goal is to give every girl in the community the opportunity to participate in the “life-changing program.”

“We are extremely proud that since our council was founded in 2002 we have never had to turn a family away,” Plunkett said. “This would not be possible if it weren’t for the incredible generosity of the individuals and businesses in our community. Our dream is to continue to make the GOTR program available to every girl in southeastern Michigan, regardless of her family’s ability to pay our registration fee.”

The Girls on the Run 5k is a non-competitive, festive 5k run/walk. There is a celebration expo with family-friendly activities, such as a Happy Hair station and photo booth, before and after the 5k. The Southeastern Michigan GOTR council invites community members, family, friends, teachers and anyone else interested to register for and complete the event with the girls.

To register for the GOTR 5k, donate or to volunteer for the organization, please visit Online registration for the 5k closes on Wednesday, May 14th.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Online registration closes May 14, 2014

Race Fees:
$25 on or before Wednesday, May 14, 2014
$30 if you register at Packet Pick Up (May 16) or Event Day (May 18)
FREE for 2014 Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan Participants

Event Schedule:
7 – 8:30 a.m. – Event day registration and packet pick up
7 – 8:15 a.m. – Celebration Expo (reopens at 9 a.m.)
9:00 a.m. – 5k run/walk start time
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Celebration Expo

Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium
799 N. Hewitt Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

All proceeds from this event benefit Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan’s scholarship program

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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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